Archive for August, 2012


Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Okay, parents, by show of hands:  In the week since your children have been home, have you found them dressed in their bathing suits in the morning and babbling something about “polar bears” that you’re fairly sure is camp lingo for something that involves water although you haven’t figured out exactly what or its relation to early a.m. hours?  Have they wandered out of their rooms asking if recall has blown yet?  Stood in the middle of the kitchen staring blankly at the stove and refrigerator before asking if there was going to be a salad bar with the meal?  Asked if waterskiing was being offered during rest hour and could they make smoothies in cooking?  Attempted to employ some sort of self-invented complex formula to determine whether they’re more likely to be on the blue or white team for Olympics next year?  Come home from school and asked if they can go back to camp?  If so, there is no need to panic.  They just have a case of campsickness.  All campers—and many staff members—get it around this time of year.  Even us!

We have to admit that on the last day of camp, we’re all gunning to see home—the one at which we spend the ten months we’re not at camp.  Of course, we love camp.  We’ve aptly covered that in previously blogs.  But there is just something about the sight of home and family after being away for a bit that is irresistibly tempting.  Then we get home.  We say hello, we catch up on our television shows, we have a nice meal at our favorite restaurant, we take a long soak in a tub full of bubbles, we talk non-stop about camp for several days, we even style our hair the way it was meant to be, and then…we eye that big pile of laundry we just pulled out of our camp trunks and realize no one is coming to pick it up if we stuff it into a laundry bag and set it outside.  We look in the refrigerator and realize the kitchen staff went home, too.  We look at our messy rooms and realize no one is going to treat us to Alyce’s if we clean them.  We look outside, see no waterfront, and are forced to face the reality that paddle boarding is not on our schedule for today.  Neither is ceramics or gymnastics.  In fact, there is no schedule for the day.  Camp is over.  For ten more months, there is no more coming together at lineup and hearing ‘Have a great day!’ before we all rush to our circles. There are no more Jason Glick Pull Bys.  No more sibling sundaes, hikes to Oz, evening activities, Olympics, or Wayne County games either.  That’s campsickness.

Unfortunately, coming back to our “other” home involves revisiting everything we miss about our camp home.  It’s an adjustment to be sure.  School has either begun or is about to begin for most and everyone, including us, will settle back into their winter routines.  The children will begin to wake to the sound of their alarm clocks, they’ll stop putting on their bathing suits as soon as they wake up, they’ll open the refrigerator to look for food, and they may even continue to clean their rooms.  They probably won’t stop talking about camp, though.  To those of us who live 10 for 2, the leaves changing color, the weather cooling, the skies getting a little grayer, snow falling, and spring bulbs blooming are more than a change of seasons.  They’re all signs that we’re that much closer to the summer of 2013, and talking about the summer of 2012 makes it seem a little less far away.

So the Kids are Coming Home Tomorrow…

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time, but in less than 24 hours, parents, seeing your children’s faces and finding out what they’ve been up to will no longer involve hitting the refresh button.  They’ll be with you, in the flesh.  If you’ve been meaning to squeeze in one more date night before they get home, it’s tonight or bust.  If you still have some programs backed up on your DVR, put on some comfy clothes, order takeout, and set your phone to vibrate.  Tomorrow you will likely lose custody of the television remote to your overly enthusiastic daughters who know they have almost an entire season of Pretty Little Liars to catch up on.

But if this blog, so far, has you thinking of Googling “fall camps,” in less than 24 hours, you will also  be hugging your children, gushing over arts & crafts projects, and hearing lots of very entertaining stories.  For at least the next week, it’s almost a given that your children will begin almost every sentence with, “At camp…”  Something at the supermarket will remind them of something that happened at camp.  A commercial will remind them of something that happened at camp.  A song will remind them of something that happened at camp.  The list goes on.  And that’s a good thing!  It means that by sending your children to camp, you give them an experience in which they find great value.  In spite of that occasional spat with friends that is over within a few blinks, the rare teary phone call home, and that letter complaining that they have too much of an activity they don’t love, campers LOVE camp.  Every sing along, every special event, every meal, every athletic competition, and, yes, even those activities that are not their favorites (as well as those that are) supply moments and memories that they wouldn’t trade for any other summer experience because they’re moments spent with special friends at a special place.  This, incidentally, is why your children might be a little bit red eyed when you meet the bus or pick them up at the airport tomorrow.

Every year, we exchange teary goodbyes just before the buses leave camp.  Although everyone is excited to see their families, after two months of being together virtually 24/7, it’s difficult for campers to part from camp friends who they might not see again until next summer, or even beloved counselors who they might never see again.  The people of Camp Starlight are a big reason that it is such a special place for so many people, which is why many of our campers and staff begin the countdown to next summer before the last bus has even left camp.  As our theme for this summer goes: “We Take Care of Our Own.”  So if this time next week you’re fairly convinced that your child has broken some sort of record for the amount of times it’s humanly possible to use the word “camp,” relax.  There are only ten more months until next summer.  Your children are likely already counting down.  Make it a family thing and enjoy the fact that camp is a gift of which your children can’t get enough.

The 2012 Camp Starlight Olympics Close…Banquet Tonight!

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Blue Wave boys and girls took the early lead and managed to maintain it throughout the competition.  However, White Crusaders, led by Generals Nate S. and Rebecca C. with the help of Lieutenants Justin J, Greg I., Matt N., Banner W., James M., Cody J., Sabrina J., Sami M., Katie M., Becky A., Katie B., and Jasmin H., demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship, determination, and perseverance right down to the final contest during the track and field meet.

At the 63rd Annual Sing, Blue Wave Generals Kyle P. and Gwen G. turned the reigns over to Sing Leaders Hayley M. and Robert W., who sailed to victory with wins in all but one of the categories with their very detailed set, creative costumes, rousing march, and a moving alma mater that nearly drew tears from the entire audience.  White Crusaders Sing Leaders Sarah P. and Solomon S., stopped the blue tidal wave with their Entrance, however, belonged to white, which commanded the stage with a performance that rang throughout the rec hall.

Generals Gwen and Kyle, along with the remainder of the blue leadership, Jodie F., Sarah M., Miranda S., Meredith P., Whitney W., Karina G., Steven M., Kurt P., Brandon C., Bryan L., Heath S., and Bryan H., kept their teams afloat at the final events of the Olympics, the annual boys and girls track and field meets to give blue the final overall victory.

After a week of being on teams, the entire camp comes together to remember the summer and honor our staff members who commit a lot of hearts and summer to making Camp Starlight the amazing camp that it is. 

The 63rd Annual Sing

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The 63rd annual Camp Starlight Sing was a real treat with both White Crusaders and The Blue Wave turning in spectacular performances of very cleverly written songs last night.  White won for their spirited entrance, while Blue took set, costumes, theme, and alma mater, and overall points. The Sing Leaders did an excellent job!

Respecting Tradition

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Throughout the summer, key staff members give address the camp during Friday Night Services.  The following is a recent address given by CA Division Leader Nora.  Because it’s timely not just to the Olympics in London but to our current Olympics, we want to share it.

“The Olympics started today…in London!  Tonight, the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games were held.  How fitting is it that, on a night where we honor the theme of “RESPECT” here at Starlight, an event revolved around respect and tradition begins worldwide.  The Olympics calls for various types of respect.  We show respect for the athletes representing our various countries, the athletes show respect for each other, and of course, the athletes show respect for themselves.  These are all topics that different Key Staff members have addressed in the previous weeks’ Key Staff Address.  Tonight, I want to talk about respecting traditions.

Much like our own Olympics, the Summer Games is a long standing tradition with various components that still exist today because of the respect it has garnered from year to year.  Respecting traditions is something we do every day here at Starlight, whether it be chanting a song or cheer, raising and lowering the flag, or even wearing a Starlight shirt to Friday night services, the respect that each of us holds for these traditions is what cultivates and nurtures these customs so that not only we, but those Starlighters deep into the future, can enjoy and appreciate as well.

The beginning of the 6th week at Starlight is always a time of anticipation and excitement.  As we all know, “the good stuff” happens at the end of the summer!  Most of these events are long standing traditions that still thrive today because of the respect that past and current Starlighters hold for these customs.  One specific event is the Senior Show.  And again, how fitting is it that tomorrow night’s Senior Show is Fiddler On The Roof, a show centered around respect and respect for tradition.  And not only that, but how fitting is it that tomorrow night is Jeff and Denes’ 100th show together at Starlight.  Two people who truly help us all respect the many traditions and customs that make Starlight so unique.  What a special weekend to begin a special part of the summer.

So, as we begin this 6th week of Summer 2012, I encourage each and every one of you to think about all the respect for tradition that has helped shaped the summer that we have been enjoying, and will enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  Think about how you can respect these traditions, so that not only we, but our fellow Starlighters in the future can love and appreciate for years to come.  Shabbat Shalom.”

What Starlight Means to Me…

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

The following is another CA submission for the CA Apprentice program.

What Starlight Means to Me…

By: Madison D., CA

Hi, my name is Madison Dratch and this is what Starlight means to me.  Ever since I was 10 years old, I knew that Starlight was a place that I could call my home.  I have made countless numbers of friends that have impacted my life in such a strong way.

One of my favorite memories at amp was when I was chosen to be Upper Senior Captain for Olympics.  Being able to lead my team during that Olympic games was absolutely unreal.  Know that I was the person that all of the camp looked to for guidance is a feeling that everyone should be able to experience.   Not only has Camp Starlight made me more confident and strong, but it has also shaped my life and made me an overall better person.  I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t go to Starlight.  Camp is my home away from home, and I could spend the rest of my life here.

What does Starlight mean to you?

Debs Down Low

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Lower Debs competing at Spirit of Starlight

One of the highlights of the Camp Starlight Lower Debs program is Debs Down Low (DDL).  For one recent Debs Down Low activity, the girls were challenged to meet and work with new people in the division.  Haley S., Lily B., and Olivia A. shared their experience with us.

“After a long walk around the second lake, we found ourselves sitting in a special place with people that have extremely different personalities.  We talked about our similarities and had a couple of laughs along the way.  We found that we weren’t so different after all.  We are definitely the perfect match.  Whenever we hear that we are doing activities with our DDL sisters, we jump up and down.  A DDL sister is someone that you can go to when you’re having a hard time as well as someone you can rely on.  A DDL sister is a sister at your home away from home. “











Olympics Day One

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Day one of Olympic competition was intense but friendly.  Blue and white dueled throughout the day to prove they’re very evenly matched and that this is likely to be a close Olympics that comes right down to the final contest.  They girls met up in the swim meets, boating meets, trivia bowl, and plethora of other sports while boys went head to head in soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, and tennis among other things.  Day two promises to be just as nail biting.

A Peek at the Olympic Break

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

“Break”ing News!

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

It was the end of the Starlight Interfaith service.  The Starlight chorus was singing a lyrical rendition of “America the Beautiful” with the laser image of an American flag projected behind them.  As they sang, the flag grew.  The song ended.  Everything went black.  Within seconds, anticipation was brewing among campers and staff alike.  Everyone knows what happens around this time every year, and the break buzz has been circulating around camp since the campers returned from their trips.  What would be this year’s break?  The suspense ended when the Starlight Playhouse was lit up by a spectacular laser light show, choreographed to the Summer 2012 theme song “We Take Care of Our Own.”  The official “Olympics” announcement, as well as the 2012 team names–The White Crusaders and The Blue Wave– didn’t project out into the room until well into the tune, but EVERYONE knew what was happening.  By the time it was official, the crowd had erupted into a deafening roar.  Excited campers scurried to see whether this year they were cheering for blue or white.  It was a Summer 2012 evening that no one will forget.  Good luck to both teams as they begin several days of competition tomorrow!